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Roswell Public Works Director Says Customers Will Pay More Without Plant Improvements

Roswell's director of Public Works/Environmental Stuart Moring told Roswell Patch that water utility customers will see higher rate hikes over the next 20 years if plant improvements are not made.

Roswell Water Utility customers could see annual rate increases of four or five percent over the next 20 years if nothing is done to improve the city's current water treatment plant, according to Roswell's director of Public Works/Environmental Stuart Moring.

No matter what, water treatment plant operation costs are expected to rise, according to a prior Gresham Smith & Partners consultant analysis (attached to this article as a PDF). How much they'll rise is dependant upon whether or not the city makes necessary improvements, Moring said about the .

"We would need a higher rate increase if we don’t make the improvements," Moring said. "Considering that these costs are estimated to double in about 20 years, water rates to customers could double if these cost savings [plant improvements] are not realized."

Moring likens the improvements to replacing an old, gas-guzzler car with a new one that gets twice as many miles to the gallon of fuel.

"The savings continue to grow throughout the life of the vehicle as fuel and other costs continue to rise," he said.

An enterprise fund covers the water utility cost, so the the $17.2 million bond that would be required to build a new plant would be paid for by water customers only, not the general taxpayers of Roswell. Moring says a new plant will reduce operating costs in the near term by approximately $600,000-$700,000 per year. It's money that will be used to pay off the loan taken out to construct the plant. 

"The amount of savings will grow each successive year," he said.

Moring also points out that building and operation costs are just projections based on current trends.

"If the increases don’t materialize, the rates won’t have to go up," he said, pointing toward a recent reduction in sanitation rates because the city saved more than was expected. However, within the .

There are approximately 5,600 Roswell households - appoximately 15,000 residents - who get their water from the city, the rest receive water via Fulton County. The current plant was built in 1937. Today, upgrades made in during the 1990s allow it to produce 1.2 million gallons per day. A new plant would produce about 2.8 million gallons per day.

The construction of a new water treatment plant has not been approved by city council. Once conceptual designs are completed, public comment will be requested.

Previous water treatment plant studies and analysis are available to the public. Call the city's at 770-641-3750.

Michael Reissig February 06, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I am starting to think that I have an online stalker here, your comment makes no sense whatsoever.
Lee Fleck February 06, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Mr. Anonymous 1107, The Storm Water Utility (SWUF) was established by taking funds out of the Solid Waste Fund which currently has excess reserves (from over billing) to the tune of $5,000,000 remaining EVEN following the establishment the SWUF. And neither have absolutely anything to do with the Water Plant Fund which is a seperate entity funded exclusively from its customers and the subject of this blog.
Thomas Wayne Shelton February 06, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Michael, Its hard to take anyone seriously that won't provide a name and simply tosses out ideas without thinking them through. If anyone wants to be part of the conversation, then please do so but don't hide behind anonymous comments. I suggest we ignore anonymous commenters.
Michael Reissig February 06, 2012 at 09:54 PM
I agree that it is hard to take an anonymous stalker seriously Thomas. If you read my other comments in other threads this 'anonymous' has been slamming everything that I have said in an attempt to belittle me. I have a strong suspicion whom it is, why me I have no idea. It is too bad that we couldn't get the incumbents out last time around.
Thomas Wayne Shelton February 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Just ignore them until they can become a part of our community by not hiding in the shadows throwing rocks. Last election was just a warm up for me. I plan to spend the next two years getting better organized and trying again. Still amazed at all the talk of making Roswell more business friendly during the campaign and seeing how it's the same 'ol schtick after the election.

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